Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Publishing Evolution #83: Paper to Pixels (or e-ink)

Another mode of self publishing is pure digital: blogs, personal web pages, writing sites. Most of these items never see a bound paper format. This material, like vanity press, skips editors and publishers and goes straight to the reader. Pixel and e-ink formats used by popular reading devices like the Kindle, Nook, and iPad are not limited to the mainstream publishing houses. Authors can have their stories processed directly for these devices.

There are also website projects like iFiction that have an iTunes setup. It allows people to read a portion of a story and decide if they want to pay for the rest. With this business model, the author controls the amount of material made free and the cost for the rest of the material. Readers have more control over what books earn their money.

Speaking of money, recent publishing news examined pricing for digital books. Amazon.com set a price at (highest) $9.99, and in doing so took a loss on many of their offered e-books. However, they also established the Kindle as the e-reader with the least expensive e-books. Publisher MacMillan wanted to control the prices set, and after some interesting digital punches, won out. Now digital books are sold based on prices set by the publisher.


  1. Do you prefer paper or pixels? Is getting the material faster on the computer or is reading in a paper form more important to you? Why?
  2. Does price influence how you get your books or is it availability? Would you pay the same price for a digital book as you would for a paper copy?
  3. Visit iFiction and look at what it offers. Do you like the idea of preview and then pay?

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